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CRESST II Postbaccalaureate Positions and Support Program

CRESST II postbaccalaureate (post-bacc) positions at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) serve as an opportunity for recent bachelor’s degree graduates to work alongside NASA scientists as full-time researchers to gain knowledge, experience the life of a researcher, and discover firsthand the missions and research at GSFC/NASA. Positions are for one year with a possible one-year extension, are located onsite at NASA GSFC in Greenbelt, MD, and include a yearly salary along with benefits. Post-baccs would then transition to graduate school or the job market after completing their post-bacc experience.

Post-bacc positions are posted once a year in the early spring on our Scientific Research Opportunities page with selections made in the summer. Specific projects are included in the job posting and post-baccs are asked to apply to the project(s) that most align with their skills and interests. Available projects differ each year depending on the needs of GSFC. Examples of past projects can be found below.

Examples of Past Post-bacc Projects

  • Exoplanet spectroscopy modeling with the Planetary Spectrum Generator Exoplanet Modeling & Analysis Center and development of the open-access exoplanet software database called the Exoplanet Modeling & Analysis Center.

  • Data processing software development for the spectroscopic observing mode Coronagraph Instrument of the on the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.

  • Assist in laboratory demonstrations of a prototype Integral Field Spectrograph camera for characterizing Earth-like exoplanets with a future Habitable Worlds Observatory.

  • Generate and analyze high-resolution digital elevation models of the Moon to support scientific research and human/robotic exploration.

  • Interest in analytical chemistry for a Planetary Protection Research project characterizing organic compounds present in curation and spacecraft assembly areas.

  • Work with the GSFC Astrophysics Communications Team to develop outreach materials about the Habitable Worlds Observatory, a future large NASA space telescope.

  • Assist in further development of state-of-the-art particle-in-cell and Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo codes to incorporate more physically realistic effects that will explore the foundations of pulsar high-energy emission neutron star and lead to parameter inference on NICER and Fermi data sets. Strong computational affinity is required.

  • Assist with the detection and analysis of background active galaxies (AGNs), including any transient objects detected, with an emphasis in X-ray detection and analysis from XMM-Newton and Chandra.

  • Become involved in ongoing multi-wavelength studies of the AGN-host galaxy connection and co-evolution and have the opportunity to develop reduction and analysis skills related to a wide variety of data, both imaging and spectroscopy, including XMM-Newton, Chandra, MUSE, Keck, HST, Spitzer, VLASS, and/or JWST.

Support Program

In addition to the research experience gained through the research project, selected post-baccs will also be able to participate in the CRESST II Post-bacc Program. The goal of the Program is to help post-baccs become better prepared for the next steps in their career through the four main areas: mentoring, networking, skill building, and preparing for graduate school or the job market. Past events include graduate school personal statement workshops, goal planning sessions, career path panels, conference preparation, and more.

Who Is Eligible?

Candidates should be soon or recent graduates with bachelor’s degree in astronomy, physics, computer science, chemistry, communications or a related science, or engineering discipline. We encourage applicants who are considering applying to a graduate program in the near future, and who wish to expand their research experience in the interim to also apply. International students and foreign national citizens are invited to apply.

How to Apply?

We have selected post-baccs for the 2023-2024 year and applications are not currently being accepted. Look for the next round of post-bacc positions to be posted in early 2024 on our Scientific Research Opportunities page.

Applications must include a Curriculum Vitae, unofficial transcript, ranked list by preference of the relevant year’s research areas of most interest, and contact information for two references. An optional cover letter describing personal background and interest in the applicants chosen field will also be accepted.

If you are interested in being notified about open post-bacc positions, email the CRESST II Career Development Manager and request to be added to the email list to receive updates when positions become available.


If you are a recent graduate and have questions about our post-bacc program, contact the CRESST II Career Development Manager for more information.

If you are a CRESST II or NASA/GSFC employee and are interested serving as a topic expert for our events, a mentor, etc., contact the CRESST II Career Development Manager.

2023-2024 Post-bacc Support Program

The 2023-2024 post-bacc class has begun their time at NASA/GSFC and CRESST II is working to craft this year’s Program. The year will start with the creation of constellation mentorship groups jointly with the GSFC NGAPS group and official NASA headshots. Check our CRESST II LinkedIn page to see what our post-baccs are up to next.

Updated: 2023-Sep-14

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